The Big Bang Theory, as anyone who watches the show knows, is a sitcom featuring several brilliant scientists who fulfill the “nerd” stereotype of being intelligent yet socially impaired. The show is constantly making references to elements of “nerd” culture, from Game of Thrones to Superman comics and everything in between.
So, it’s no surprise they recently gave a nod to Leonard Nimoy, the deceased actor who played Mr. Spock on the Science-Fiction series Star Trek. USA Today mentioned that the Show paid what it called a “touching tribute” to Nimoy, who passed away at age 85 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Huffington Post mentioned that, although Nimoy never appeared in person on the show, he did provide the voice of a Spock action figure for an episode in which Sheldon dreams the toy can talk to him (see video below for the scene).
The Big Bang Theory has also had a host of other “nerd culture” icons make cameos on the show, including actress Summer Glau (who The Big Bang Theory Wiki notes starred in the Sci-Fi show Firefly) and actor Will Wheaton (who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation and is Sheldon’s mortal enemy on The Big Bang Theory). On the slightly less nerdy side, the show also features Laurie Metcalf making occasional appearances as Sheldon’s super-religious Mother, Mary Cooper. The Big Bang Theory, which was recently accused of ruining geek culture, is currently running its eighth season, and can be seen Thursday nights at 8 PM on CBS.
USA Today showed readers the picture of Nimoy that was displayed at the end of the show, which featured the caption “the impact you had on our show and our lives is everlasting.” The loss comes not long after another huge blow to the entertainment industry, the death of Carol Ann Susi. Miss Susi was known for her ability to bring the role of Howard’s overbearing, raspy-voiced Jewish mother Deborah to life in a way nobody can ever replace. Though her she was never actually seen on the show, her legendary voice became her trademark.
The show paid tribute to Susi in two separate episodes, one of which involved the cast having a feast made from leftovers found in Howard’s freezer. The other episode shared the characters reacting to her death and sharing memories of her character (A straight-faced Sheldon mentions that he “…never cared for her yelling”, but now he is sad because he won’t hear it anymore).
Even those who aren’t fans of Star Trek or other “geeky” media can appreciate the Big Bang Theory‘s straightforward-yet-witty style of comedy without having to wade through myriad references to all things nerdy (Okay, so not all of the joke’s are transparent, but maybe writer Chuck Lorre couldn’t resist). The show is at once touching and hilarious in almost every episode, leaving plenty of room for both entertainment value and developing the relationships between characters.
[Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive]